Israeli Supreme Court Refuses to Release Palestinian Hunger-Striking Prisoner Awawdeh

Palestinians in Gaza rally for the freedom of Khalil Awawdeh and other Palestinian prisoners. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, Palestine Chronicle)

The Israeli Supreme Court refused on Tuesday to release Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on a hunger strike for 171 days in protest of his detention without charge or trial, despite his serious health condition and growing demands to release him.

According to Ahlam Haddad, Awawdeh’s lawyer, the court argued that they are not an appeal body against the decision issued on August 21.

Human rights organizations published Sunday pictures of Awawdeh which showed that he had reached a critical stage as a result of his continuation of the strike.

The European Union expressed its shock at the pictures of Awawdeh, describing them as “horrible”, and said he “is in imminent danger of dying,” demanding that, “unless charged immediately, he has to be released.”

Awawdeh, a father of four girls, was arrested on December 27 of last year. He was slammed with administrative detention for six months.

On July 2, he resumed his hunger strike after suspending it earlier after 111 days, based on promises to release him. Israeli authorities reneged on their promise and renewed his administrative detention for four more months.

Over the years, Israel has placed thousands of Palestinians in administrative detention for prolonged periods of time, without trying them, without informing them of the charges against them, and without allowing them or their counsel to examine the evidence.


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